Fight or Flight: Explaining Minority Associate Attrition

By: Abby Yeo Diversity has been a prominent problem in the legal profession. Law is among the least diverse professions in the nation. According to a survey conducted in 2016, racial minorities represent about 20% of all attorneys at law firms. The industry has seen efforts to incorporate minorities into law schools and law firms, including minority mentorship programs, partner training, and objective evaluation methods; however, progress has been achingly slow. In the seven years between 2009 and 2016, the percentage of women in law firms has grown by less than one percent and the percentage of minority lawyers has only increased by about two percent. The lack of diversity is exacerbated among more senior attorneys. A survey of national law firms showed that while minorities compose 32% of the summer associate class at law firms, minorities compose 8% of partners. Thus, the primary impediment to diversity in law firms is not the hiring, but the retention of minority attorneys. Minority attorneys are 1.3-1.5 times as likely to voluntarily leave their law firms compared to white, male attorneys. Minority partners are almost three times as likely to leave their positions compared to white men. Minorities’ greater dissatisfaction with private sector [read more]

Antitrust Scrutiny of Vertical Mergers Under the Trump Administration

By: Andrew Saba The business world welcomed the Trump administration with open arms, believing it would usher in a new era of unprecedented growth by disposing of many of the barriers implemented during the Obama Administration, such as Net Neutrality. During his first week in office, President Trump signed Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to cut two existing regulations for every new regulation they enforce. Since the implementation of the executive order, deregulation has ensued, the market has improved, and growth has been steady. One area where this pro-business approach has not been observed uniformly is that of vertical mergers in the cable industry. Most famously, the Department of Justice  (DOJ) sued to block the $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner back in November, and the case is headed for an early trial in March. The ruling in this case will be largely influential in the cable industry, as more distributors and programmers of content are merging in order to stay competitive with the relatively new threat of streaming services. The merger between AT&T and Time Warner is a vertical merger—a merger between two companies that operate at different stages of the production process for a [read more]

Christie v. NCAA and the Implications of Legal Sports Betting

By: Andrew Saba In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PAPSA”), prohibiting states from authorizing, licensing, regulating, and controlling sports betting. The Act grandfathered in states that had previously legalized sports betting – Nevada, Oregon, and Delaware – and offered an exemption to New Jersey if they enacted legislation within a year. The state failed to do so, and continued to prohibit sports betting within its borders. In 2010, the state changed course and initiated a referendum among its voters asking whether sports betting should be legalized in the state. The referendum was approved by a wide margin. In response, the Legislature passed the Sports Wagering Act in 2012, which legalized sports betting in private casinos and racetracks across the state. The NCAA, NFL, NHL, and MLB (“NCAA”) sued the Governor of New Jersey and various state officials (Christie I), alleging that the Act violated PAPSA. The state admitted that the Sports Wagering Act violated PAPSA, but argued that PAPSA was unconstitutional because it violated the anti-commandeering doctrine of the Tenth Amendment. The doctrine prohibits the federal government from requiring states or state officials to adopt or enforce federal law. The NCAA argued that PAPSA did [read more]

Who Gets the Big 199A Tax Loophole?

By: Michael Chou In December 2017, Congress signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law. It was largely unpopular for most Americans but has left some people and companies quite pleased—the ultra wealthy ones like the Koch Brothers and Pfizer. The TCJA has lowered the individual income tax from 39.6% to 37%, lowered the corporate income tax from 35% to 21%, and doubled the estate tax’s exemption to $11 million per person and $22 million per couple. One of the most glaring issues with the TCJA comes from a loophole created in the Internal Revenue Code section 199A Qualified Business Income. Corporate income is a type of business income that is taxed twice federally, once at the corporate level and once at the shareholder level. However, pass-through income is a type of business income that skips the corporate level tax and jumps straight into the owner’s personal tax returns. Section 199A potentially allows a major tax deduction for certain “qualified” pass-through income. One question is who will qualify for this deduction, the majority of Americans or only the wealthiest among them—my pennies are on the latter. 199A—Some of What is Known The new law offers a 20% deduction [read more]

Contract for Deed Sales Killing the American Dream

By: Lizbeth Cordova Contract for deed sales, also known as installment land contracts, is an alternative way to purchase a home. Like the traditional home loan, buyers make a down payment and promise to pay the purchase price in installments; they are also responsible for making (and paying for) any necessary repairs and insurance. The buyer takes possession of the home, but under this method of purchase, the seller keeps the title to the property until all payments are made. This contract almost always includes a provision allowing the seller to evict the buyer immediately if even one payment is missed. Meaning that the buyer immediately loses all the money they paid into the house. Currently, there are no federal protections to prevent these types of sales. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) must enact federal protections to prevent deceptive buyers from making themselves rich at the expense of the American Dream. A New York Times article estimates that a lot of these homes were purchased by investment firms at prices under $10,000 and then sold to buyers for four times the original purchase price with interest rates sometimes double the rate of a standard federally-backed home loan. Additionally, the [read more]
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